Tracking Lesson Time
As a homeschooling parent, I would love to see how long my students spend learning each lesson. Currently, I can go to the dashboard, click on their name & activity level and it will only show me what time they started the lesson. I would love to know how long they did each lesson. This also goes into record-keeping, which is very important for homeschoolers. A printable option for this would be great too, so parents/teachers can print up their overall activity (including times logged in & times DOING the lessons). Also, another idea that would be neat...an equivalency chart someplace on the student dashboard showing an approximation of how many hours they've spent on Duolingo and what it might equal in actual classroom learning hours (similar to Duolingo's link saying that 34 hours on their site is equal to a semester in college). It would be nice to see how many of those 'classroom hours' they have actually put in. Thanks for giving us a place to put in suggestions, Duolingo.
This is a great idea, and it has been suggested before, but the problem I see with it is how can someone tell if a student is actually spending their time learning a lesson or not?
When I am doing lessons on Duolingo, I frequently take some time out to read the discussions about the sentence, to dig through a grammar book, or to visit SpanishDict, About.Com, WordReference, or other informative language websites.
How would the software know whether the student was playing solitaire on their mobile phone vs. digging through a grammar book? How can that "idle" time (when they are not actively clicking keys on the Duolingo website) be measured?
I think that if you want to know how long your children are spending on Duolingo, you will have to ask them to record their time or you will have to monitor them yourself.
I don't think it would be that difficult to accomplish time tracking, so long as the student is actively answering questions (which would be able to be tracked). Also, if Duolingo were to utilized a 'time out' feature after so many minutes of inactivity/not answering questions (giving the person the option to 'continue'), it can stop the time after timing out and restart when they press continue. Not all homeschool parents hover over their children to monitor them, as many of us have more than one child to help with school. Also, one can easily print up a lot of the grammar helps before each lesson here on Duolingo, and study them before or after lessons, without having to stop mid-lesson to get online to look things up. From most of the lessons I've seen on here, the definition of the words are also already given and there is no need to look them up during the lesson itself. And the point of having the student's time tracked is for those of us that want to know, for sure (without standing over our child's shoulder), if they actually spent the amount of time they say actually learning. Many children...public or homeschooled, will state that they've spent 'X amount of minutes' on a lesson,etc. but a teacher would really like to KNOW that they truly have, without having to trust that they did or did not (by wanting to finish school sooner that day). I am not unique in this as a homeschool parent, since both public private schools want to know this information about their students' work as well. If Duolingo doesn't want to intitiate a timing feature for all Duolingo participants, they could have it simply as an added feature for those in 'classrooms' alone.
This would be a fantastic option for those of us that would like to use DuoLingo as a distance Education option with our Adult ELL students. My only suggestion, if you are able to pursue this course of action, is to have students select from where they are studying when they sign in-- in class or at home. This way, as a teacher, I can differentiate between classroom time and distance education time and give them appropriate credit for time spent on DuoLingo outside of class. This would be very helpful in getting DuoLingo approved as an ELL distance education option in our state.
Thanks for your consideration!